Updated | Times seeks answers as to why Casa whistleblower used MaltaToday equipment

Whistleblower has twice written to the EU’s anti-fraud agency over the manner by which David Casa’s staff salaries were inflated • Casa says he is schocked by revelations of collusion 

Nationalist MEP David Casa
Nationalist MEP David Casa

Updated at 4.30pm with David Casa statement

The Times of Malta is seeking answers as to why a whistleblower who has accused Nationalist MEP David Casa of having a drug problem, used MaltaToday's office equipment during the drafting of his statements to the EU's anti-fraud agency OLAF.

The whistleblower has written twice to OLAF, requesting that he furnish them with tax data to show that staff salaries paid by Casa's paying agent could have been inflated so as to retain a portion of the EP budget reserved for employees' salaries.

Times of Malta sent questions to MaltaToday, asking about the use of the newspaper's office equipment to draft the letter sent by the whistleblower to OLAF.

MaltaToday managing editor Saviour Balzan told The Times that he had been discussing every aspect of the story and the claims made by the whistleblower for weeks, and several meetings were held at his office to revisit the evidence and correspondence the whistleblower has.

"After considering the statements made by the whistleblower, the drafting of the affidavit and verification of statements and other evidence was made in my office, to give this whistleblower maximum confidentiality. In the course of our meetings, the whistleblower has used office equipment to draft statements: this does not change anything from the substance of the story or this person's willingness to speak to the EU's anti-fraud agency OLAF," Balzan said.

OLAF is carrying out a preliminary inquiry into expenses claims following a MaltaToday report based on the whistleblower's claims.

The Times has asked Balzan why his computer was used when the whistleblower sent the statement on David Casa to OLAF.

"This person has been under much pressure since speaking to our newspaper, with efforts from party sources close to David Casa attempting to dissuade and discredit the person from exercising their right to speak to OLAF. It is important that this whistleblower does not get discredited by the press simply to defend the indefensible actions of an elected politician," Balzan said.

David Casa statement

In a statement, the MEP said that he was shocked at the revelations regarding the whistleblower letters sent to OLAF, insisting it was clear that his work, "particularly that regarding the leaked FIAU report calling for police action against Konrad Mizzi", had made him a target. 

Collusion and the fabrication of news was unprecedented and completely inexcusable, Casa said. 

Moreover, he said the revelation was not an isolated case and had further exposed the "systemic targeting of government critics by supposedly independent media acting on orders from Castille".

Casa said he continued to be committed to the protection of investigative journalism now more than ever. "Our country needs professional journalists who search for truth. I know that the majority of Maltese journalists are such, and encourage them to continue to be unwavering in holding power to account."